17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Students and Young Professionals

AIAA Student Day - New for 2018!

Sunday, 16 September 2018 
The subject matter of these sessions is designed specifically with relevancy to your career stage. Please note these sessions will take place the day before SPACE Forum begins. Please plan accordingly.  

Rising Leaders in Aerospace        Space2016RisingLeaders       Space2016YPswithBolden      


Ignite the "Meet"ing

Sunday, 16 September 2018, 1400–1530 hrs

Nothing can be more intimidating than being a newcomer or young person at a conference or event where everyone already knows one another! At this high-energy and fun workshop, attendees will gather tips and techniques on networking and relationship building that will make the event more enjoyable and productive. We’ll focus in on creating an introduction, understanding how to engage with others, playing off the unique networking styles of introverts and extroverts, and some of the absolute do nots of networking. Then the interaction kicks in with an activity designed to foster quick friendships so that throughout the conference the participants will never enter a session or party where they are the stranger! 

At the end of this session, participants will:

  • Understand how to ‘work’ the event to achieve their educational and networking goals
  • Have a repertoire of tips and techniques to use to meet others
  • Have made personal connections so they feel like a true part of the group

Meet the Employers

Sunday, 16 September 2018, 1600–1800 hrs

AIAA’s “Meet the Employers” event at the 2018 SPACE Forum offers students and young professional attendees the opportunity to meet AIAA corporate members. This is a fun and dynamic environment where students and professionals interact with organizations regarding employment opportunities. 

Participating companies/organizations will present a brief organizational overview and opportunities available, then have follow-on discussions with the attendees. Organizations will host a table and attendees will switch every 10 minutes.

 Participants include:

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • The Boeing Company
  • Jacobs Technology
  • Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (Invited)
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Stellar Solutions
  • United Launch Alliance

Immediately following the event, AIAA will hold its Student Welcome Reception in the same venue and company and organization representatives are encouraged to attend. There is no charge to participate in either the recruiting event or the reception. No RSVP is required. 

Corporate members and government agencies are invited to present; opportunities are limited so to secure your presentation please contact  Tobey Jackson or call 703.264.7570.

AIAA Student Welcome Reception

Sunday, 16 September 2018, 1800–1930 hrs

Mingle with your peers and hear from AIAA Executive Director Daniel L. Dumbacher. This reception provides you with the opportunity to meet your fellow students and learn more about the opportunities available to you as an AIAA student member.

Rising Leaders in Aerospace Events:

Rising Leaders are graduate students and professionals age 35 and younger. AIAA's Rising Leaders in Aerospace (RLA) is a special initiative that provides a forum for young aerospace leaders to learn from and engage with others.

A Conversation with Members of the National Space Council Users' Advisory Group

Monday, 17 September 2018, 1030 – 1130 hrs

The National Space Council was reestablished in 2017 to advise the president on America’s space policy and strategy and review the nation’s long-range goals for space activities. The council includes leaders in government from both civil and military space programs. The Users’ Advisory Group (UAG) is a panel of outside experts that provide advice to the National Space Council. It has a broad mandate to study virtually all civil, commercial, and national security space issues. This session will provide an open forum for AIAA SPACE Forum attendees to interact with UAG members and provide input on the following topics:

  • Strengthening public engagement
  • Increasing commercialization activities in low Earth orbit
  • Accelerating a return to the moon
  • Identifying opportunities for international cooperation versus competition
  • Strengthening the relationship between science and exploration

MODERATOR: Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., U.S. Navy (ret.), Chairman, Users’ Advisory Group, National Space Council


Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO, The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

Fred Klipsch, Chairman and CEO, Klipsch Audio Technologies (ret.)

Fatih Ozmen, CEO, Sierra Nevada Corporation

Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

David Thompson, Retired President and CEO, Orbital ATK Inc.

Speed Mentoring

Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 1600 – 1730 hrs

Accomplished members of corporations and AIAA will be taking time to meet with the Rising Leaders participants and share their experiences. This event is a great way to get insight from top-level officials and make some great new contacts. And, maybe, they will end up being a mentor for more than just the 15 minutes at this event.

Networking Reception

Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 1900 –  2030 hrs

Join your peers for a night of networking! Young professionals are encouraged to attend and will enjoy complimentary beverages and light hor d’oeuvres.

SGAC Presents:  Shaping the Future of Space, an interactive event for Students and Young Professionals

Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 1200 –  1400 hrs 

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) is a global organization whose mission is to bring the views of the next generation of space leaders to the highest levels of the space sector, including the United Nations.  Learn about how you can get involved in this international professional organization and hear from three young professionals about how this significantly impacted their careers in aerospace!  

This presentation will be followed by an interactive workshop where you will engage with fellow young professionals in discussions about the future of the space sector, in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and formulate ideas regarding what the next 50 years of space exploration should look like. This forum will enable both excellent networking and also a unique opportunity to hear the perspectives of your global space colleagues. No specific prior knowledge or experience is required.  Lunch will be provided so bring an open mind and be ready to engage with your peers in the space sector! 

Check back soon for more program updates!

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